Supercars are awesome aren’t they? Well they’re supposed to be and that’s sometimes their biggest problem – the headline figures can become so incomprehensible that eventually they’re meaningless to the average person. Take the Bugatti Veyron for example.
Autocar magazine recently strapped the timing gear to a £2m 1183 bhp Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, recording the fastest ever 0 – 100mph time for a road car – 5.0 seconds, if you need to ask. What does that even mean? It’s so far beyond what any of us can comprehend that apart from differences in our language or dialect, the expletives we use to describe its performance would merely convey that it was faster than light itself and beyond the realm of meaningful description.
Those were exactly my thoughts as I pored over Koenigsegg’s press release for the Agera R yesterday. And let me tell you, just like the cars themselves, Koenigsegg don’t do average press releases – at 6,000 words and 10 pages in length, Christian von Koenigsegg is clearly telling us that the Agera R is more than just another Koenigsegg supercar with a slick paint job.
But like the Veyron Super Sport, the numbers are silly and incomprehensible – just under 1100 bhp (83 less than the Veyron SS) and 1200Nm of torque on E85 and E100 bio fuel. So you might be surprised to hear that Koenigsegg’s press release does not in fact wax lyrically about the Agera R’s performance – in fact you won’t actually find any performance figures quoted. For Christian von Koenigsegg it’s all about technology innovation, with supercar performance being a by-product of solid engineering and the pursuit of excellence.
Flex Fuel – in a supercar?
Koenigsegg was the first Sports car manufacturer that took a step towards green technology when the bio fuel CCXR was introduced in 2007. The Agera R, based on the highly competitive Agera, follows in the footsteps of the CCXR as it also runs on E85 bio fuel.
The Agera R has an upgraded fuel and engine management system that has enough flow capacity to generate 1099 bhp and 1200 nm of torque on E85 and E100 bio fuel. As there is less energy content per given volume in these bio fuels compared to normal petrol, the fuel-system has to manage a flow that is similar to 2000 petrol hp, which means that the return less fuel system fo the Agera R has the highest capacity of any car presently in production.
As the Agera R is a flex fuel car. It is also possible to run the R on normal petrol. As 95 octane fuel has less octane than E85, the power goes down to 940 hp and 1100 nm of torque, as the boost pressure and ignition timing is altered to match the fuel characteristics.
Koenigsegg now also offer an R version of the Agera for countries that does not have E85 or E100 readily available. This non bio-fuel version has to be run on a minimum of 98 octane fuel and has been optimized to give an output of 1050 hp and 1140 nm of torque.
Koenigsegg differs from most other low volume supercar manufacturers by the fact that Koenigsegg develops and produces its own engine in-house. Many observers have criticised such an approach for its cost and the challenges for any engine manufaturer to keep pace with environmental legislation and standard, but year after year Koenigsegg has proved the cynics wrong.
The engine within the Agera is a 5-litre V8 bi-turbo producing up to 1100 bhp and yet with CO2 emission of 310g/km of CO2 and a combined fuel consumption of 16 mpg. However, Koenigsegg are most proud of how drivable, responsive and reliable the engines are – especially given their
In order to give the Agera maximum flexibility when it comes to power delivery, Koenigsegg has joined forces with Borg Warner and adapted to the latest technology when it comes to turbine materials. The Agera R turbines are therefore made from a material called Gamma-Ti, which is an inter metallic compound comprised of Aluminium and Titanium. This new material drastically reduces the inertia of the turbine wheel and axle and therefore gives improved response.
Innovative rear suspension
Christian von Koenigsegg has invented and pioneered a new type of rear suspension system for a road car – the Triplex rear suspension. The Agera R comes with the Triplex rear suspension as standard and therefore has a shock absorber and spring connecting the right and left rear wheel. This system gives unique benefits as the two rear wheels can influence one another when desired.
There are multiple benefits of this system. For example, the extra spring and damper works in series with the normal spring and dampers allowing their spring and damping rates to be lowered. This results in increased comfort and better handling on rough and wet surfaces without compromising dry track handling.
Furthermore the RTD system has an anti-squat effect. Traditional anti-squat systems are designed into the geometry of the suspension. These systems do not add any components or weight. However they compromise the geometry of the suspension for other aspects of handling than anti-squat.
By adding the RTD system, Koenigsegg can maintain true suspension geometries for handling, but still have the anti-squat feature and harvest other new found benefits. As the RTD system compliments the normal dampers and springs, these can be made lighter. Hence, the added benefit does not significantly affect the overall system weight.
Supercars of today generate massive amounts of down force in low to medium speed but less down force at very high speed, in order not to overload the tires and not to create too much drag. Most supercars therefore have heavy hydraulically operated wings and flaps to cater for the different requirements at these speeds.
Koenigsegg however, following its “less is more” philosophy, has designed a dynamic system which is standard on the Agera R and optional on the normal Agera.
The most visual and obvious part of this system is the new dynamic rear wing. The wing changes its angle of attack, not with the help of hydraulics, but with the pressure of the wind. It is therefore dynamically controlled by the speed or wind resistance at any given moment in time and thus actually compensates for headwind or tailwind at the same given speed.
The Agera R on the Koenigsegg show stand – production car # 83 – is inspired by the legendary Speed Racer theme, as specified by the owner of the car. Speed Racers main colour is white – to match the colour of snow. To further authenticate the show cars’ originality, it comes equipped with special Michelin tyres and a custom made Thule Roof Box – ready to attack the ski resorts! Mad!
The normal Agera already has the kind of performance that is beyond the imagination of most drivers, but the Agera R manages to push it just that little bit further. It’s great to see Koenigsegg continue to prove the doubters wrong.